Ah, the fates can be cruel.
I have an upcoming business trip to Europe which has me flying into Roissy -- aka CDG, Charles de Gaulle airport. And making a hasty connection to my final destination. (The good news is that I'm flying beloved Air France.)
That initial part I can deal with -- dashing from Terminal 1 to Terminal 2E in a window of 2 hours. God willin' and the crick don't rise, I'll make it.
But the return flight is what pains me. My flight arrives mid-evening into Roissy. The continuing leg to the U.S. departs the following morning, about 12 hours later.
That, to me, is sheer temptation. Sheer torture! How can I be in Paris and not be in Paris?? Could I navigate my way into Paris, arriving after the dinner hour, and (ignoring seeing friends, alas, which would give me no time in the city), stay in a little hotel and spend my evening walking around -- being my old flaneur self -- and get enough rest and time to rise, check out, find transport and reach the airport in time for the return flight by 11 a.m.?
I surveyed my friends -- their suggestions ranged from "stay at the SofitelCDG," to "stay in the 6e near the RER station," to "the Ibis CDG," to the myriad other hotels at Roissy.
First I opted for taking the Air France car to the Etoile, staying in a small 2-star hotel, and hitting the town. Then I got real. If I didn't arrive until 10 pm, lugged my luggage to the room and then went out wandering, it would be a rather stunted visit.
And forgive me, but I really despise traveling on the RER from CDG with luggage, so that option had already been nixed.
So, I have decided to do something I've never done before in my Paris excursion adventures: I'll stay at a chain hotel at CDG and explore the airport itself for, um, entertainment and edification.
Any recommendations? Where would you stay -- what would you do -- what would you like to know about -- with 12 hours to kill at Charles de Gaulle Airport? Dining, lodging, spa services, entertainment, budget ideas? I'll report back in a week or so.